A new Corynebacterium species, Corynebacterium durum, was isolated from respiratory tract specimens of five human patients. The strains of this species exhibited similar morphologic and biochemical features that differentiated them from all recognized species. Notably, all of these strains developed irregular and strongly adherent colonies under aerobic conditions and produced acid from mannitol and galactose. The cells are long pleomorphic rods with some filaments. This species has characteristics of the genus Corynebacterium, such as 55 mol% guanine plus cytosine in the DNA and the presence of corynomycolic acids, meso-diaminopimelic acid, arabinose, and galactose in the cell wall. These isolates formed a homogeneous group in which the DNA-DNA similarity values (as determined by an S1 nuclease procedure) compared with reference strain IBS G15036T (T = type strain) ranged from 71 to 100%. The analysis of the nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequence of IBS G15036T indicated that this new species represents a distinct taxon within the genus Corynebacterium. This new species can be identified on the basis of its colony morphology, fermentation of sugars, and enzymatic activities. Strain IBS G15036 (= CCUG 37331) is the type strain of C. durum.